[THIS WEEK IN SOCCER: April 7-13]A busy week includes the season openers in the NWSL and NASL, as well as key second legs in both the UEFA Champions League (quarterfinals) and Concacaf Champions League (semifinals). Soccer folks in the New York area can choose between a film festival and symposium with soccer themes -- or better yet attend both. The week ends with another big Saturday of MLS action and Liverpool-Manchester City on Sunday.
TUESDAY, April 8:
-- Paris St. Germain takes a 3-1 lead to London for the second leg of its UEFA Champions Leaguequarterfinal series against Chelsea, but it will be without injured star Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Real Madrid holds a comfortable 3-0 lead over Borussia Dortmund in the other series that moves to the Westfalenstadion.
-- Toluca looks to be in good shape against Costa Rica's Alajuelense, taking a 1-0 lead into the second leg of theirConcacaf Champions League semifinal at La Bombonera.
WEDNESDAY, April 9:
-- Both UEFA Champions League series are even after the first leg. Manchester United's 1-1 tie gives it at least of sliver of hope against Bayern Munich, which hosts the second leg at the Allianz Arena (Gus Johnson and Eric Wynalda will call the game at 2:30 p.m. ET). The marquee match of the final eight, though, is Atletico Madrid-Barcelona in a battle of Spanish rivals -- also 1-1 -- at the Estadio Vicente Calderon in Madrid.
-- Tijuana carries U.S. hopes in the Concacaf Champions League as Xolos hold a 1-0 advantage over Liga MX leader Cruz Azul after the first leg of their semifinal series that moves to Mexico City (live on at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2 and Univision Deportes).
-- American Jose Torres has a chance to win another Mexican title as Tigres hosts tiny Alebrijes de Oaxaca in the final of the Torneo Clausura's Copa MX. A crowd of more than 40,000 is expected at the Estadio Universitario in Monterrey.
-- The sixth annual Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival (schedule) kicks off in New York with the world premiere of Rise as One: One Nation, a documentary short about France's 1998 World Cup championship team, featuring interviews with Zinedine Zidane, Lilian Thuram and Youri Djorkaeff. Also on the double bill: German film 1905ers: With Heart, Mind, and Soul.
THURSDAY, April 10:
-- The USA and China play the second leg of the two-game set of international women's friendlies at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium (live at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The match is the last for the U.S. women before the start of the NWSL season.
-- Hofstra University is awarding Pele an honorary degree for his humanitarian work as well as contributions to world sport. He will be honored during a symposium titled “Soccer as the Beautiful Game: Football’s Artistry, Identity and Politics” at Hofstra and other locations. More than 100 scholars, journalists, players and coaches from 25 countries will contribute to the symposium.
SATURDAY, April 12:
-- FC Dallas, which has the best record in MLS with 13 points in five games, hosts Clint Dempsey and the Seattle Sounders. Real Salt Lake, MLS's only other unbeaten team, travels to Philadelphia. The game of the week on NBCSN pits D.C. United against New York in an I-95 battle of teams with one win between them in eight games (kickoff: 7 p.m. ET).
-- The National Women's Soccer League begins its second season. The first weekend's big game features its two MLS-backed clubs. The expansion Houston Dash makes it debut against the defending champion Portland Timbers FC. Other weekend openers includeFC Kansas City-Sky Blue FC in a battle of 2013 playoff teams, plus two games on Sunday: Washington-Western New York and Seattle-Boston.
-- The North American Soccer League kicks off its fourth season with four games, including the opener of the expansion Indy Eleven, which has sold 7,000 season tickets. Besides Indy Eleven-Carolina, the other openers are Ft. Lauderdale-Ottawa FC, Tampa Bay-FC Edmonton and San Antonio and Minn. United FC. The defending champion New York Cosmos host Atlanta Sunday in a rematch of Soccer Bowl 2013.
SUNDAY, April 13:
Liverpool hosts Manchester City in a game that could decide the English Premier League title. The Reds, who have not won a league title since 1990 -- before the formation of the EPL -- have a two-point lead on second-place Chelsea and a four-point advantage on City, which has two games in hand.